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Chris Bryant

Finding the Amazon of Used Cars Looks Like a Pipe Dream

Becoming profitable is proving more challenging for Cazoo than plastering its name across the sports world. 

Cazoo’s sports sponsorships bolstered brand awareness.

Cazoo’s sports sponsorships bolstered brand awareness.

Photographer: Steven Paston - PA Images/PA Images

Pitching Cazoo Group Ltd. as the “Carvana of Europe” seemed a shrewd move when serial entrepreneur Alex Chesterman was shopping his online used-car dealer to investors last year. It doesn’t look so clever now.

Initially, his decision to shun the London market in favor of a SPAC listing on the New York Stock Exchange paid off handsomely. Cazoo obtained a whopping $7 billion valuation, a stunning amount for a business launched in December 2019 and one certainly helped by U.S. muse Carvana Co.’s then-$60 billion market capitalization.